February 8 is International Septuagint Day. On February 8, 553, the Byzantine emperor Justinian decreed that the Septuagint should be used in Greek-speaking synagogues.
The date was chosen because, as Robert Kraft noted, it is “the one date we know of from late antiquity on which LXX/OG/Aquila received special attention.” Justinian’s Novella 146 permitted the Jews of the Roman Empire to read the Scriptures in their synagogues in Greek, Latin, or “any other tongue which in any district allows the hearers better to understand the text”. This novella (see English translation) was published on the eighth day of February in the year 553 CE.
All quotes from Scripture which appear here on the old blog today will be from the LXX. If you love the LXX, you may also enjoy being part of The International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies. Membership is extremely inexpensive and it comes with the Journal.
The International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS) is soliciting papers for its annual meeting in Baltimore, to be held in conjunction with the SBL. In addition to open sessions, where papers on any topic will be considered, IOSCS is also sponsoring a session to discuss a new monograph in our field: J. Ross Wagner, Reading the Sealed Book Old Greek Isaiah and the Problem of Septuagint Hermeneutics. IOSCS is also co-sponsoring a session, Greek Biblical Traditions and the Partition of Ancient Judeo-Christian Culture, with EJCR and Greek Bible. Proposals should be presented through the SBL Annual Meetings website by March 1, 2013. Please direct any queries to Leonard Greenspoon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s no getting around one simple fact: the LXX was the Bible of the early Church. Every Christian should know that- and every Christian should have a copy of the LXX (and yes, it is available in English).
Happy Septuagint Day!